About Great Starts and Editors

My debut novel “It Can’t Be You” started with “The man was dead.” I then went on to develop the opening scene where a body is found. At that stage those who find the body do not know whether the man was killed or killed himself. Many who read the book have commented that it set the tone for what became an absorbing psychological thriller. Continue reading “About Great Starts and Editors”

Proof Speaking & Other Tips

I remember the time I was editing my second thriller ” Lucky For Some, Thirteen” before it was sent off to the publishers. Each time I went through the manuscript, I would find either an error or a clear opportunity to make the sentence “sound” better. That’s when I decided to “proof speak” rather than proof read.

This blog post in Ballpoint.com tells you why it’s a smart thing to proof speak your work. I found it very useful. The biggest gain is a better understanding of how it would sound to the reader.

Most description should come through dialogue but there are times when you need to find the right words to express the feelings of your characters as seen by others. I came across this list from author Kimberly T. Matthews. Your choice of the right word makes a big difference in your description. Kimberly’ s list should prompt you, as it did me, to add-on to our vocabularies. If we don’t, we could end up using the same old words all the time, novel after novel.

The best way to improve your writing is to actively seek ways of improving it and put them into practice. I believe proof speaking and using the right word to depict expressions are useful tips to any writer.

Writing Fiction Is Hard Work!

So you want to be a fiction writer? Congratulations but so do a million others. All of them don’t make the grade. It is easy to get carried away with the images of huge success. Everyone dreams of churning out best-sellers that feature on the New York Times, getting that incredible advance that make eyes pop out and wallowing in luxury as you write from your  exclusive writer’s den in some exotic place. Continue reading “Writing Fiction Is Hard Work!”

God is in the Details

At a recent book reading, someone asked me “How did you manage to keep track of all the characters in your novel over many years? Was there any particular method you used?”. The short answer is meticulous notes on ages, events, and so on. Make sure you get it all right. You can’t have someone be aged 35 in a particular year and be shown as being 45 a few years earlier somewhere else in the novel !! Continue reading “God is in the Details”